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Colin Kaepernick and Nike Join Forces Again for Apparel Collection Celebrating Activist Legacy

Colin Kaepernick and Nike are partnering up again — this time it’s for the launch of a new apparel collection promoting his legacy as a former NFL star turned activist.

Colin Kaepernick (Photo via Instagram @kaepernick7)

London-based artist Joy Yamusangie is collaborating with Kaepernick to illustrate his transition on a limited-edition T-shirt for $50 and a hoodie for $80 on the Nike website — with both items available through the site starting on Oct. 27.

Yamusangie finds inspiration in painting to create pieces that reference various subjects, specifically, “duality of everyday life in the UK and their African Heritage.“

Art and Sports

“Colin Kaepernick is a man of the people. Over the years, he’s proved his devotion to social change through sports, education, and equality. This product capsule serves as a reminder and an invitation to push toward an equitable future,” officials with Nike are quoted as saying.

“The imagery of the photoshoot represents the visual symbolism chosen by artist Joy Yamusangie. Each illustration carries its own significance that reflects Kaepernick’s journey as an athlete, philanthropist, and activist. Colin surrounds himself with elements of youthfulness, revolution, hope, community, and ambition.”

Nike and Colin Kaepernick have a business relationship that began in 2018 when Nike featured Kaepernick in a prominent advertising campaign.

The campaign, with the tagline “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” featured Kaepernick’s face and a message about his activism and beliefs. Through Nike’s involvement with Kaepernick, the sports apparel giant was seen as issuing an endorsement of Kaepernick’s protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

Nike indeed sacrificed its branding, having its stock value experience a slight decline when the ad dropped on the following opening market day, The Street reported. However, it faced significant backlash from consumers who felt betrayed by Nike, which caused their clients to burn their clothes and sneakers publicly.

Nike and Colin Kaepernick have collaborated for the second time since their initial merch partnership in 2020, a collaboration that led to “Jersey 2.0,” called the Colin Kaepernick Icon Jersey 2.0, which is a black monochromatic jersey that features his NFL number, 7, and his last name on the back.

The Kaepernick Kneel

The Jersey 2.0 was launched to mark the fourth anniversary of Kaepernick taking a knee on an NFL sideline.

During his last NFL season, Kaepernick’s protest played a significant role in initiating a national and global conversation about how star athletes like him should express their dissatisfaction with police brutality against the Black community.

The kneeling during the National Anthem became a growing trend, but critics, most prominently white conservatives, thought the gesture was disrespectful to veterans and anti-Americans.

Kaepernick, who became a free agent after leaving the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, has not played in the NFL for approximately seven years. Although it has not been officially confirmed, it seems the league may have blacklisted him after his 2016 season.

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